President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered seamless air attacks on areas occupied by bandits ravaging communities in Niger, Kaduna and Zamfara states.
The order followed assurances that harmattan haze, which previously hampered military air operations, is gradually clearing out.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, saying the military air operation against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers that have been attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State will commence this week.
According to Shehu, the President, who described the repeated attacks leading to the losses of several lives in the communities “as a disaster for the nation,” had authorised the deployment of air power to support troops and policemen deployed to the “difficult terrain,” to counter the menace of the attackers operating in the forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.
Hence, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refueling facilities at Minna, Niger State to support the aircraft operations, giving assurances that given the improved weather conditions, a major exercise to “visually acquire targets” and launch attacks will soon follow.
The Police Command in Niger has equally given assurances that the planned dedicated air raids to complement the police helicopter gunship operations remain the best approach given the lack of motorised roads in the areas constantly under attack.